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Calling any recovered EDs - I need som help with binge-fast-binge cycle

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  • #16
    Originally posted by perfexionist View Post
    Sometimes I still struggle with the binging, but what I started doing recently that has helped so far is just completely cutting out anything sweet. Sweets have been my major binge food, and I've always been a bit of a sugar junkie. My experience has been that by (temporarily - I'm not going to do it forever!) ceasing to consume sweets altogether, I have completely obliterated my strongest cravings for them. .
    Thanks Pefexionist - really helpful to hear from someone who actually has an ED

    Sweets are generally not my problem, I don't even like them that much, but sugar is a problem. I actually have cut it out completely but the binge will often take me there. I have had 'primal' binges with no sugar involved (but the dried fruit of course is the nearest primal thing). I think I even need to stop eating all fruit for a while and see how I go, even the sugar in a grapefruit of banana seems to trigger me. Now it's mid-winter here I'm a bit off fruit anyway. How much do you eat? Does it trigger you do you think?

    I won't try the GNC yet, I really don't crave sugar. I just use it in binges sometimes, but my binges can be anything from nuts to big bowls of porridge.

    Thanks for passing by. I hope things work out for you as well. I know eating primally is the best way forward for me, no other way will work for me now and I don't want to try. I feel safe eating like this, I'm just struggling with the mental side of this disease.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by aussiesue View Post
      There is lots of fructose/sugar in dried fruits, and you can eat heaps of them when they are dried, it would be near impossible to eat the equivalent of a pack of dried apricots. Fructose bypasses your "filled up" signals. Try and avoid fructose/sugar things when snacking.
      Not a problem here! I need to avoid snacking on anything.

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      • #18
        I probably don't qualify to respond here I'm sure as I don't have anorexia or bulemia but I've battled night binges for many years. Uncontrollable ones where I eat things I don't usually even LIKE going from fridge to cupboard to fridge and going from sweet to salty to sweet again. Terrible. So although I'm one of the many non-ED sufferers giving advice, the desperation and bitter shame I've felt might give me an inkling as to what EDers go through.

        Primal helps but I've finally made an N-1 discovery. For the first time in weeks the senseless and urgent need to binge came back. I cried a little a little, called a friend to distract me, and my husband went out to get me seltzer (my new crutch). Looking back at the prior few weeks, I realized I'd eaten too few calories for too long And skipped supplements off and on for days. One or both triggered it.

        So how might this apply to you? Probably doesn't. You probably have something more complex driving you and perhaps it's some sort of chemical imbalance or misfiring in your neural pathways. But perhaps there are supplements you might want to research. This is obviously taxing on you emotionally. I'm sure you've been trying to figure out what's causing these binges - if it's your body or brain wanting the opioid effect of food then low dose naltrexone cuts those receptors and has helped some people with EDs. Or, perhaps, you are missing a key nutrient your body is unable to absorb properly. I know that a small study found NAC (n-acetylcysteine) helpful with OCD and autism and they were doing a small trial with bulemics...but I don't know the outcome. I recently read that a tryptophan deficiency can cause obsessions and food binges (something about seratonin levels, I can't remember the details).

        Before people come on this thread yelling at me for suggesting some supplement might be the answer, I'm merely making this suggestion since you are currently eating good food and sometimes that's not always enough. It just might be something lacking you can take that can help you function properly and feel a little in control. Not forever, just temporary. It's tough being your own private eye trying to figure out what's wrong, but it can help to channel your focus on figuring out what might help. This is a very vague, I know, but it's worth thinking about. If you're deficient in something that's easily and safely supplemented it can be life changing.

        I still avoid my kitchen after 8pm even if the dishes weren't done, but I'm feeling so much better now.
        Last edited by KerryK; 06-25-2012, 05:00 AM. Reason: Typing on a dang phone
        SW: 243
        CW: 177
        Goal: Health

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        • #19
          As a lifelong secret binge-eater, what i found most helpful was to:

          1) change my internal commentary loop.
          2) Stop using blame and shame with anything that had to do with food.

          I could easily get fixated on a certain food - say, an entire container of frosting - and wouldn't be able to stop obsessing over it until I had consumed so much (usually the whole container) that I was sick and wanting to throw up. Then I'd compensate for this by eating turkey breast and lettuce for a couple of days to 'pay my penance'. For this reason, I never left the range of 120-125lbs, so no one would ever suspect there was ever anything weird going on with me and food.

          To change my internal commentary loop, I had to reprogram my brain. For me, this was something like:

          See Entenmann's cake in supermarket. Start obsessing over eating the whole thing. Brain goes on loop, saying, 'that looks really good. It will taste so amazing, and you can eat as much as you want, no one will know, c'mon, it will feel so good to be eating that, you can make up for it later, you really want it...' and repeat, even after I've left the store without buying it and have gone home. The loop keeps repeating until I HAVE to go back out and buy the damn cake, because I can't think about anything else all night, or the next day, until I gorge on that cake and get sick. Once the loop starts, it's all over.

          However, if I could start a brand-new loop before my autopilot one kicked in, I'd be okay. This was really difficult at first, and what I'd do would be to walk down the desert isle repeating something short and easy like 'this stuff is gross.' or 'this will make me vomit'. In the beginning, i'd only let myself walk down these isle if i was with my husband, or someone I knew, so that I wouldn't actually be tempted to buy anything. After practicing this MANY times, it was then possible for me to switch to this new loop when I felt the old one startiing to kick in.

          The shame/blame thing I found to be critical in perpetuating bingeing. If I did have a 'relapse', feeling guilty and using my food choices to attack my personal character was a guarantee that I'd be bingeing again, because it was an instant, fleeting way to momentarily feel better. For me, it was CRITICAL to focus my comments on the physical effects of my actions and why I shouldn't do it again. So instead of bingeing and then wallowing in shame, guilt, despair and thinking of myself as a horribly weak person, I'd instead think things like, 'I thought that would make me feel better, but it didn't. In fact, I feel sick to my stomache, and this is the feeling I want to remember the next time I'm tempted to binge again.'

          Also, I found it helpful to change patterns that led to bingeing behavior. For example, I had certain stores or places where I could get really sinfully tasty unhealthy food. Just walking down a certain street or driving a certain route would be enough to trigger my autopilot into going through that loop that convinced me I needed to eat an entire dozen doughnuts before I even saw the place that sold the doughnuts. Just doing little things like taking a different route was enough to help prevent that anticipation of the stimulus from triggering my loop that would lead me to buying those doughnuts that I didn't even want to begin with. Same thing with evening snacking - this was problematic for me, so I made sure i had a very satiating protein heavy dinner. Once I was done eating, when the urge to snack popped up, I'd say, 'I'd usually want a snack right now, but today I don't. in fact, instead of watching tv in the living room like I usually do, I think I'll go read in the park, or my bedroom.' The specifics aren't important, but breaking the routine that leads to the pattern you want to break is.

          Also, certain foods are an instant binge trigger for me. i CAN NOT eat them in moderation, and I find it easier to avoid them altogether than to have a small amount, because as soon as I have a bite, my mind begins that damn loop that won't let go until I eat the whole package. For these few remaining items that are problematic (dried fruit!) I stay away, but I have to be careful with my internal commentary so that I don't turn it into something forbidden that heightens my desire for it. So, for example, I never say, 'I can't have that.' Instead I'll say, 'Yeah, I bet that would taste good, but I know that if I start eating those figs, I'll end up eating the whole package and I'll feel really sick, so I'd rather not.' Then I spend some time remembering the last time I binged on figs, and how sick I felt afterward - I let that be the thought I focus on, not the desire part.
          Last edited by BestBetter; 06-25-2012, 06:37 AM.

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          • #20
            That was quite possibly the longest post I ever wrote. If you haven't fallen asleep yet, I've got one more thing to add, which I thought of after re-reading Kerry's post.

            Kerry - I think you are spot on about the supplements. Of course EDs are more complicated than just needing some supplements, but having deficiencies/imbalances can have a huge impact.

            For example, my desire to binge is often triggered when I'm stressed or depressed. When I'm feeling good about myself, and happy in general, I don't want to binge and moderation is MUCH easier.

            During a particularly low point, I said to my husband, 'I just kind of feel like my brain is not producing/releasing any dopamine. Nothing is fun or pleasurable.' His first comment was, 'I bet you've got a dopamine deficiency. Let's figure out how to fix it.'

            We did tons of research, and I started taking two amino acid supplements - phenylalanine and tyrosine. Phenylalanine gets converted into tyrosine in the body, and tyrosine is a precursor for dopamine. There's evidence that taking both can be beneficial. Within 2 days of starting this supplementation, my depression and my increased desire to binge disappeared. I felt more 'even' and overall happier.

            I now understand what an integral role neurotransmitters play, in addition to mineral and vitamin levels. Years of eating in a really unbalanced way can really put the brain at a disadvantage by not having enough good raw material to function the way it should. Sometimes healthy eating just isn't enough to correct that imbalance.
            Last edited by BestBetter; 06-25-2012, 07:00 AM.

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            • #21
              BestBetter - thanks for taking the time to write that! As a struggling binge eater your comments/ideas were helpful I recently went to an OA meeting and they talked about something you hit on - that binge eaters need to "medicate" every day. And by "medicate" they meant - go to meetings, work on different self-talk, journal, whatever the case may be. The same way we would never expect to increase strength or lose body fat by lifting or dieting for one day - rather it is a months/years of choices that change our bodies - the same is true of binge eating restraint. Each and every cookie aisle you may need to talk yourself through. Each day you may need to attend an OA meeting or journal or something. Just like taking a pill for blood pressure or something. You just gotta keep going.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Dexy View Post
                Do you have an ED? Binging can be a little bit different from 'normal' eaters. I can binge with impunity when I'm not having an episode of anorexia, pick myself up and get on with life. But the anorexia brings with it obsessive thoughts about food and very compulsive food behaviour. This for me is worse than the binges as it's constant and sould destroying.
                It is great and I don't think I will go back to bingeing any time soon. Primal might not be the best diet for you though. I could not stop myself from bingeing on primal. The best way to do it is to not restrict any foods, even "trigger foods," just eat them in moderation and control yourself.

                Also, I would binge on any diet. Primal has nothing to do with it -why do you think it would?
                Being primal can cause bingeing because it restricts whole food groups...I have read opinions from different "experts" that restricting whole food groups causes you to fixate and binge on them, and I know it does for me. I eat everything I want, but in moderation.

                And I certainly am not anorexic but I can't imagine that I don't have binge eating disorder. I would eat until I was stuffed and eat more and more throughout the day. I have finally gotten a handle on it and it feels great. Brain over binge was a big part of that.

                To be honest thought binge eating disorder is completely different than anorexia and I have no idea how to deal with anorexia. I would think just forcing yourself to eat a normal diet would do it but I guess for some reason or another that is hard to do?

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by lorichka6 View Post
                  BestBetter - thanks for taking the time to write that! As a struggling binge eater your comments/ideas were helpful I recently went to an OA meeting and they talked about something you hit on - that binge eaters need to "medicate" every day. And by "medicate" they meant - go to meetings, work on different self-talk, journal, whatever the case may be. The same way we would never expect to increase strength or lose body fat by lifting or dieting for one day - rather it is a months/years of choices that change our bodies - the same is true of binge eating restraint. Each and every cookie aisle you may need to talk yourself through. Each day you may need to attend an OA meeting or journal or something. Just like taking a pill for blood pressure or something. You just gotta keep going.
                  I don't want to sound like a negative nancy, but I really think this view is complete BS. You don't need to journal or go to meetings to stop binge eating. You need to do EXACTLY one thing. Learn how to deal with your cravings to binge. If you learn how to deal with your craving to binge and not give in, you will never binge again. And the more you refuse these cravings the easier it will get until the cravings become less frequent and ultimately all but disappear.

                  I have friends and family that have gone through AA and the like and I think it is complete BS. It helps some but it just makes it easier to rationalize IMO when "you are powerless to your addiction." That is BULLSHIT, no one is powerless to their addiction, and you don't need a higher power for help. All you need is discipline and you need to figure out a way to deal with your cravings.

                  As I said, if you have problems with bingeing I cant recommend this book enough. Look at the reviews.

                  Amazon.com: Brain over Binge: Why I Was Bulimic, Why Conventional Therapy Didn't Work, and How I Recovered for Good (9780984481705): Kathryn Hansen: Books

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                  • #24
                    [QUOTE=jimhensen;880460]I don't want to sound like a negative nancy, but I really think this view is complete BS. You don't need to journal or go to meetings to stop binge eating. You need to do EXACTLY one thing. Learn how to deal with your cravings to binge. If you learn how to deal with your craving to binge and not give in, you will never binge again. And the more you refuse these cravings the easier it will get until the cravings become less frequent and ultimately all but disappear.

                    I have friends and family that have gone through AA and the like and I think it is complete BS. It helps some but it just makes it easier to rationalize IMO when "you are powerless to your addiction." That is BULLSHIT, no one is powerless to their addiction, and you don't need a higher power for help. All you need is discipline and you need to figure out a way to deal with your cravings. /QUOTE]

                    Jim, at first I actually way impressed that you were giving some seriously compassionate, and helpful advice. But now I'm realizing that you really don't know what you're talking about, and you're a little out of your league here.

                    Maybe journaling isn't your thing, but who are you to say that it's BS if it works for some people? And for that matter, who are you to call AA BS? My suicidal alcoholic mother would have killed herself years ago, had she not become sober and transformed herself through the help of AA. It's an organization of generous, compassionate addicts who take charge of their recovery and has helped probably millions of people. Maybe I should go tell my mom that some schmuck on the internet says AA's 'powerless to your additiction' idea isn't cool enough and she should drop the whole thing. Too bad, she just celebrated her 10th sober year and finds great fulfillment in sponsoring others.

                    If you don't agree with their stance, keep it to yourself, because no one cares about your opinion on this.

                    Not everyone can just order a book off of Amazon and fix their lives like you did.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by BestBetter View Post
                      I don't want to sound like a negative nancy, but I really think this view is complete BS. You don't need to journal or go to meetings to stop binge eating. You need to do EXACTLY one thing. Learn how to deal with your cravings to binge. If you learn how to deal with your craving to binge and not give in, you will never binge again. And the more you refuse these cravings the easier it will get until the cravings become less frequent and ultimately all but disappear.

                      I have friends and family that have gone through AA and the like and I think it is complete BS. It helps some but it just makes it easier to rationalize IMO when "you are powerless to your addiction." That is BULLSHIT, no one is powerless to their addiction, and you don't need a higher power for help. All you need is discipline and you need to figure out a way to deal with your cravings. /QUOTE]

                      Jim, at first I actually way impressed that you were giving some seriously compassionate, and helpful advice. But now I'm realizing that you really don't know what you're talking about, and you're a little out of your league here.

                      Maybe journaling isn't your thing, but who are you to say that it's BS if it works for some people? And for that matter, who are you to call AA BS? My suicidal alcoholic mother would have killed herself years ago, had she not become sober and transformed herself through the help of AA. It's an organization of generous, compassionate addicts who take charge of their recovery and has helped probably millions of people. Maybe I should go tell my mom that some schmuck on the internet says AA's 'powerless to your additiction' idea isn't cool enough and she should drop the whole thing. Too bad, she just celebrated her 10th sober year and finds great fulfillment in sponsoring others.

                      If you don't agree with their stance, keep it to yourself, because no one cares about your opinion on this.

                      Not everyone can just order a book off of Amazon and fix their lives like you did.
                      Well just about anyone can order the book off amazon. If it changes their lives is another thing.

                      As for my comments on AA, NA, OA, and whatever other anonymous meetings their are, I will stand by them. Like I said, they work for some people, and that is great. If it helps you I would never say you should stop or it isn't the right thing for you. But I really had a problem with THIS STATEMENT:

                      "I recently went to an OA meeting and they talked about something you hit on - that binge eaters need to "medicate" every day. And by "medicate" they meant - go to meetings, work on different self-talk, journal, whatever the case may be."

                      This is COMPLETE BULLSHIT. Binge eaters DON'T need to do anything other than not binge. If a journal or going to meetings helps, great, do it, but by no means is it 100% necessary and it certainly won't stop everyone from bingeing.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by jimhensen View Post
                        This is COMPLETE BULLSHIT. Binge eaters DON'T need to do anything other than not binge. If a journal or going to meetings helps, great, do it, but by no means is it 100% necessary and it certainly won't stop everyone from bingeing.
                        It's not quite as simple as that, if it was we would all be living a utopian lifestyle.
                        It's like saying Anxious people should just stop worrying or depressed people should just be happy.
                        Bingeing is not the issue, it is merely a symptom of an underlying condition, just stoping the Binge does not resolve the problem, it may help and be a part of the solution but the drivers for the behaviour need to be addressed. BestBetter has put forward some good points on the process of Neural reprogramming of the behavioural triggers, CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) is one of the techniques to do this.
                        Basically the brain has learned a set of responses, most likely in childhood, these may have been appropriate for that time and place, but are not appropriate for the current time as we have matured and are different now, yet the behaviour persists. The behaviour is a well worn groove and as soon as we get the trigger off we go down that groove, so the process is to build new neural pathways as alternatives. Identifying the trigger point and throwing in a trip line to distract us, so at the first sign of a Binge thought we count to 100, do a set of breathing exercises, run around the block, talk to someone, write in a Journal etc. etc. gradually the Binge trigger becomes associated with a new behavioural pathway. Over time the urge becomes weaker and weaker until it fades out entirely, for some it may take a few months, others may take years.
                        Personally as a child I had anger issues, if people touched me at the wrong time I'd go into a blind rage, one day I hurt someone pretty badly and I realised this was not a good thing, so every time I hit that trigger i took it out on an inanimate object, gradually over time because my violence hurt me more than the rock or tree, I learned to take a few deep breaths and let it pass. I have seen similar processes for all manner of behavioural issues in myself and others, first step is recognition and identifying a trigger point, then providing an alternative healthier behaviour, but it is up to the individual to take the required steps and retrain their mind, diligence is required and it does take time & dedication.
                        Last edited by Omni; 06-25-2012, 06:19 PM.
                        "There are no short cuts to enlightenment, the journey is the destination, you have to walk this path alone"

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Omni View Post
                          It's not quite as simple as that, if it was we would all be living a utopian lifestyle.
                          It's like saying Anxious people should just stop worrying or depressed people should just be happy.
                          Bingeing is not the issue, it is merely a symptom of an underlying condition, just stoping the Binge does not resolve the problem, it may help and be a part of the solution but the drivers for the behaviour need to be addressed. BestBetter has put forward some good points on the process of Neural reprogramming of the behavioural triggers, CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) is one of the techniques to do this.
                          Basically the brain has learned a set of responses, most likely in childhood, these may have been appropriate for that time and place, but are not appropriate for the current time as we have matured and are different now, yet the behaviour persists. The behaviour is a well worn groove and as soon as we get the trigger off we go down that groove, so the process is to build new neural pathways as alternatives. Identifying the trigger point and throwing in a trip line to distract us, so at the first sign of a Binge thought we count to 100, do a set of breathing exercises, run around the block, talk to someone, write in a Journal etc. etc. gradually the Binge trigger becomes associated with a new behavioural pathway. Over time the urge becomes weaker and weaker until it fades out entirely, for some it may take a few months, others may take years.
                          Personally as a child I had anger issues, if people touched me at the wrong time I'd go into a blind rage, one day I hurt someone pretty badly and I realised this was not a good thing, so every time I hit that trigger i took it out on an inanimate object, gradually over time because my violence hurt me more than the rock or tree, I learned to take a few deep breaths and let it pass. I have seen similar processes for all manner of behavioural issues in myself and others, first step is recognition and identifying a trigger point, then providing an alternative healthier behaviour, but it is up to the individual to take the required steps and retrain their mind, diligence is required and it does take time & dedication.
                          Well stopping the bingeing stops the bingeing problem. If you have underlying issues that led to bingeing you might want to resolve them for a life improvement but it isn't necessary to stop bingeing.

                          I completely agree with what you said though. You need to reprogram your brain by not giving into your cravings to binge. Whatever strategy that works is the right one for you.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by jimhensen View Post
                            This is COMPLETE BULLSHIT. Binge eaters DON'T need to do anything other than not binge.
                            Oh. And all anorexics have to do is stop starving themselves and start eating. Gosh, it's so simple! Who would have thought?

                            /snark
                            F, 44 years old, 111.8 lbs, 4 feet 11.5 inches (yes, that half inch matters!)

                            **1st place sparring, AAU TKD regional qualifier, 2/15/15 - It's damn good to hit like a girl!**

                            **First-ever 5K race 11/28/13: 37 minutes, 18+ seconds, no stopping**

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by JackieKessler View Post
                              Oh. And all anorexics have to do is stop starving themselves and start eating. Gosh, it's so simple! Who would have thought?

                              /snark
                              Check out the book that I have linked up twice in this thread. To stop binge eating you just need to learn how to deal with your cravings. No one ever binges unless they get a craving to binge. Every single binge comes after a craving to binge. So instead of trying to eliminate your triggers, you need to address how you deal with the craving to binge. If you learn to deal with your craving to binge, and not give into it, you will stop bingeing whether you resolve your personal issues or not.

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                              • #30
                                I don't think I have a binge disorder, but I did notice that when I tried IFing or fasting longer than 14 hrs I would way overeat in the next few days. Not just eat more, but with the feeling of loss of control and shame afterwards. Once I stopped IF, the urge to overeat also went away (mostly). Just my own experience.

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